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Victim goes home as its not safe in Dublin

THE young woman who was viciously assaulted on a Dublin Bus has returned home to Mexico because she is too scared to remain in Ireland, the Herald can reveal.

The attack on Gabriela Leon (30) was caught on video and went viral last summer causing widespread public revulsion.

The clip showed her being savagely and repeatedly punched in the head by a thug on a number 40 bus in Kilmainham in July.

Now, speaking openly about the terrifying incident for the first time, Gabriela has revealed that she left Ireland because she did not feel safe.

Dangerous

Gabriela said her family were very shocked at what had happened to her in Ireland, a country with a safe reputation in comparison to Mexico, where the cities are frequently ranked among the most dangerous in the world.

"I am from a country which is supposed to be dangerous and I never faced a situation like this," Gabriela said.

"My family was shocked because they never expected that this would happen in a country like Ireland."

Gabriela had been travelling home from a work function in the city centre with her flatmate on the evening of July 23.

Both Gabriela and her friend - a young man in his 20s - were set on by a man on the top deck of the bus and ended up being treated for facial and head injuries in St James' Hospital.

Following an appeal for information and asking people to identify a man through CCTV images, gardai arrested a 26-year-old man on October 28 in relation to the attack 28 and a file has been sent to the DPP.

To date no one has been charged.

Gabriela spoke to the Herald anonymously during the summer.

"I've lived here for four years and this attack has really affected my view of Dublin and Ireland," she said then.

"Has this become just a normal thing? For me it is getting out of control."

This week Gabriela said it has taken her and her friend months to recover from their ordeal and revealed that despite having a good job in Ireland, she decided to return to Mexico after the incident.

"Well, I can say that the following months after the attack I had a very, very hard time, but thankfully at the moment I am doing very well," Gabriela said.

"At the beginning I was in denial, I couldn't accept that it had happened, and I used to behave as if it hadn't happened.

"At the same time, I started to be frightened, I used to take lots of precautions, I was afraid that the same guy or another random guy would do something similar.

psychotherapy

"I just felt I couldn't handle the situation any more and I flew back home. I was feeling down, but since I arrived in my country with the help of my family and friends I started feeling better. Also I sought professional help - I am taking psychotherapy to help to cope with the incident."

Gabriela said that gardai were very helpful after they reported the incident.

"Also, people in general, when they knew what happened, were very supportive," she added.

She said she did not know if she will ever return to Ireland.

emccahill@herald.ie


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